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10 Most Awkward Moments in Recent College Basketball History

Ethan Miller, Getty Images
Getty Images

Sports fans always assume they’ve seen it all… until something crazy happens that we’ve never seen before. College basketball is usually where the oddest stuff happens with players, coaches, and fans responsible for all kinds of mayhem and mischief. The bloopers and follies become an instant highlight and a part of the game’s lore.

Here’s a rundown of 10 embarrassing, hilarious, and unforgettable moments from college basketball games:




Saint Mary’s player Brad Waldow became the talk of the NCAA this month when he lost one of his front teeth while battling under the basket. What was so memorable about this was not the injury but rather the insult that followed when he tried to hand the free tooth to his coach. Saint Mary’s coach Randy Bennett balked at the proposition, instead telling Waldow to chuck his tooth on the floor below the bench. So much for blood-brotherly loyalty.




Kansas Jayhawk star Julian Wright had a great chance to get the fans and his team fired up after making a steal with a wide open court in front of him. Unfortunately for Wright, the ball didn’t comply with his wishes, and it snuck out at the last second as Wright wound up for a monster dunk. What results is akin to a balloon suddenly losing its helium.




The color commentary on this missed free throw explains it all as an Appalachian State player comes up several feet short of even grazing the basket. His form looks good and there’s enough power in the shot that it gets high up over the players boxing-out below. However, in this case, the ball doesn’t come close to going the distance and just drops back down. Someone needs to return to the fundamentals at practice.




Sometimes the hysterics don’t take place during the game. Known for his dramatics and his odd look as much as for his rebounding prowess, Joakim Noah showed off some awful dance moves after the Gators won the National Championship in 2007. The funniest part about Noah is that he doesn’t seem to care and just keeps on going and going and going…




A game can turn on one possession, but handing the ball back to the other team with just a few seconds to spare, isn’t in the usual game plan. In a tight game against Texas, UConn’s Roscoe Smith literally threw the ball away after losing track of how much time was left on the clock. Coach Calhoun appears to be in such shock he just has to accept the fact a player did something he’d never witnessed in all his years of coaching.




Converting a breakaway dunk shouldn’t warrant a mention on the “worst” list but Adam Waddell of Wyoming does an unplanned backflip that leaves him in a very uncomfortable position. It’s actually quite impressive to watch and thankfully Waddell appeared to walk away unblemished from the accidental gymnastics routine. He had a good laugh about it just like everyone else.




Awkwardness isn’t reserved for just the players; Coach Bruce Pearl gets a little too close to Erin Andrews for comfort during an in-game interview, actually grabbing her to illustrate a point. The bear hug isn’t well-received — or deserved — and results in Pearl having to make the most of the rest of his time by sticking to words to explain himself. This was probably the first and last time Pearl used a woman for a visual aid during a basketball game.




Kansas’s Brady Morningstar shows the good mechanics that usually accompany a free throw, but he doesn’t put it all together fast enough, instead getting stuck on one motion which leads to some weird robotic movements that have commentators baffled. Morningstar tries to make the most of the weird toss, but it’s too late to commit to an actual shot attempt. Too bad it didn’t go in or Morningstar could have a case for getting an assist on his own shot.




Early on in a Georgia-Kentucky game, a ref gets hit in the head by a loose ball which leaves him tumbling to the ground amid a crowd of cheerleaders on the baseline. Not a bad place to land, but still an embarrassing fall. The ref stands right back up and walks away unscathed. It just shows how tough the officials must be to take the court each and every night — ready for whatever comes at them.




Pervis Pasco was a solid player for Kansas State, but he’ll forever be remembered as the guy who cost Kansas State a 2003 Big 12 Tournament game against Colorado, when he stole the ball, and it looked like they’d win the game as a result. Pasco broke off with the ball in celebration, resulting in a traveling call, the ball going back to the Buffaloes, and a game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer. There’s just no coming back from that moment.


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